A Weekend Exploring Victoria On Foot

Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Only a short and scenic ride away from Vancouver, BC or Seattle, WA through the Salish Sea, Victoria, B.C. is a city full of hidden gems. I thought it would be perfect for a stress-free girl’s getaway weekend, exploring Victoria on foot, with my twin sister and my seven-week-old, Olivia. After a weekend relaxing and exploring, we felt well-rested, rejuvenated and ready to plan another adventure (isn’t that always what happens after a fun trip?)

The quaint waterfront city of Victoria, B.C. is fit for a queen. And in our case, a little princess too since we brought Olivia along for her first little city trip and girls weekend. There is really no need for a car in town, so lace up your walking shoes (or many hop on a bike) to explore this charming city and Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour is the perfect starting point. There is so much to see for a weekend while exploring Victoria on foot.

Our Goal For Exploring Victoria On Foot

We were in Victoria a couple of years ago and had done a lot of the touristy sights, so we were looking for sights to see that we had not experienced. On our list was staying at the Empress Hotel and going for high tea, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chocolat Favoris, and the famous Fan Tan Alley.

Pretty views from the BC Ferry
A stormy sunrise on the first early morning ferry

We walked on the Ferry and took the bus from the Ferry terminal into downtown Victoria. It was around an hour ride and drops you just a few minutes from the Fairmont Empress Hotel. For just $17 for the ferry and $2.50 a person for the bus ride (each way), it was much cheaper than driving onto the Ferry. We knew we would be doing plenty of walking within the downtown core, so there really was no reason to bring a car this time.

Crazy Ferry Hair

We also used some of our Avion reward points for our stay in the hotel. If you do not have a rewards card, what are you waiting for? It can take a while to pile up those points, but when you do, it sure is wonderful when you can redeem them for great adventures!

High Tea At The Empress

Tea at The Empress in Victoria

Tea at The Empress in Victoria

We absolutely LOVED high tea at The Empress; it really is fit for a Queen! It was nice to put some effort into looking decent, to relax with such delicious treats and tea, and to get Oliva all dolled up. Olivia sure was the center of attention and that brought me so much joy during the tea. Olivia even slept wonderfully, propped on a chair as she listened to a pianist play beautiful songs. Our favourite was, of course, Disney’s Wish Upon A Star; it was magical. 

Sleeping In A Castle

Victoria's Inner Harbour

Chandelier at The Empress in Victoria

The Empress in Victoria

We not only enjoyed high tea, but slept in Canada’s castle on the coast as well. The iconic Fairmont Empress opened its doors in 1908. The Empress was recently restored and the style pays tribute to its iconic history while keeping up with modern luxury. The hotel was lovely and had so much charm.

We have way too many photos to share, so you can find out more about our tea time and stay at The Empress HERE.

Chocolat Favoris

Salted Caramel Chocolate Dipped cone
After trying this chocolate, I feel like it is definitely among the best I have ever tasted. This salted caramel chocolate-dipped cone was delicious. The chocolate was thick and creamy and the vanilla ice cream was quality, too. We also tried am ice cream “poutine” that made our taste buds go wild also.

Delicious chocolate at Chocolat Favoris

Chocolate Poutine at Chocolat Favoris

Fan Tan Alley

Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Canada. Opium dens and gambling halls once lined the narrow walls of this tiny street. It was once a spot for dastardly doings, and is now a historic piece of Chinatown. It is said that a ghost still haunts Fan Tan Alley and Chinatown to this day.

Fan Tan Alley

Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

Fishing boats at Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

Floating houses in Victoria

Just around the corner from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Fisherman’s Wharf is a cute hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. I’m unsure how we have missed it over the years, but I had started to see some photos over Instagram of it and knew we had to make a stop. It would definitely be a great place to hang out during the warm summer months with all it has to offer: food kiosks, unique shops, eco-tour adventures, fishing vessels, pleasure boats with live-aboard residents, float homes, and commercial businesses.

Take a look at some more photos wandering the streets of Downtown Victoria:

Map mural in Victoria

Views of the Victoria Parliament building

Canada sign in Victoria

Mosaic Whale and The Empress in Victoria

Victoria walking by foot

Victoria views walking on foot
Parliament building

Victoria parliament building Victoria parliament building

Victoria parliament building

Victoria's Chinatown
Victoria’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America after San Francisco.
Emily Carr statue in Victoria, BC
This bronze statue is to honor the renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr in her hometown.

Totem pole in Victoria, BC

Totem Pole in Victoria, BC

Sightseeing bus in Victoria

Victoria BC lit up at night
The Inner Harbor lit up at night

Whale mosaic in Victoria, BC

Canadian Navy statue in Victoria, BC

Victoria inner harbour in British Columbia

Victoria inner harbour lit up at night

Walking Victoria on foot

Exploring Victoria on foot
Olivia’s 1st “City Trip”
Exploring the streets of Victoria on foot
Wandering around Downtown
Victoria, BC
Old Victoria Customs House was designated a national historic site in 1987. It is a rare surviving example of a 19th-century Second Empire style federal building.
Downtown Victoria in the rain
We had a bit of everything during the weekend — cloudy skies, blue skies and sunshine, and rain one evening.
Christmas tree at the mall in Victoria
We went into the mall and found a Christmas Tree decorating contest. So festive and creative!

Frozen Christmas tree at the mall in Victoria

Grinch Christmas tree at the mall in Victoria

Olaf Christmas tree at the mall in Victoria

Cora's strawberry waffle
I can NEVER resist a stop at Cora’s for breakfast – It is always delicious!


Victoria, BC really has grown into the perfect spot for a cool Northwest weekend getaway and adventure. It is a great historic and one-of-a-kind destination. It is so easy to explore Victoria on foot. While still a busy place, it felt a lot more relaxed than Vancouver. Victoria used to be known as a retirement destination, but has successfully reinvented itself as one hip capital.


What are your favourite weekend getaways close to home?